[ pes-uh-mis-tik ]
/ ˌpɛs əˈmɪs tɪk /


pertaining to or characterized by pessimism or the tendency to expect only bad outcomes; gloomy; joyless; unhopeful: His pessimistic outlook kept him from applying for jobs for which he was perfectly qualified.

Nearby words

  1. peso,
  2. peso boliviano,
  3. pessary,
  4. pessimism,
  5. pessimist,
  6. pessoa,
  7. pest,
  8. pest house,
  9. pestalozzi,
  10. pestalozzi, johann heinrich

Origin of pessimistic

First recorded in 1865–70; pessimist + -ic

Related forms

Synonym study

See cynical. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pessimistic

Word Origin and History for pessimistic



1866, from pessimist + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper